They Won’t Even Know What Hit Them

Via Digby, we learn that David Broder is shocked that the Republicans aren’t playing nice.

I often wonder what exactly it will take for some of the “reasonable” conservatives left in the blogosphere to finally sever their ties with the radicals now running the GOP. There are several right wing blogs I read that spend most of their distancing themselves from the lunatics, yet they always manage to find a reason to keep supporting Republicans. You would think the behavior regarding START would be enough to finally jettison them from the party, but, who knows.

This ain’t your fathers GOP. There is no room for Reagan or Buckley anymore.

64 replies
  1. 1
    ChrisS says:

    How many are willing to burn the house down to save the baby?

  2. 2
    4tehlulz says:

    Or Bush, for that matter.

  3. 3

    I assume you mean Bush I, because they seem to be reembracing Bush II these days.

  4. 4
    cleek says:

    $10 says we will never get to the point where the term “overreach” is routinely applied to the TeaGOP.

  5. 5

    David Broder is shocked that the Republicans aren’t playing nice.

    It must be nice to wake up in a fresh new world of bipartisanship like Broder does every day.

    ETA: I do have to slightly disagree with Digby about this: “it won’t change the fact that the Party is no longer a nice staid hierarchical organization run by staid old men.” It’s still run by staid old men (Pen1s Navy, John Kyl, Boehner, McConnell, DeMint, etc.), but they’re just bigger assholes.

  6. 6
    BR says:

    Oh there’s room for Reagan, just not all of Reagan. Leave out the parts where he raised taxes or signed START, and keep the rest: the supply-side nonsense, the crypto-racism, military budget ballooning, etc.

    In the Spring when GOPers are praising Reagan at the debates, it’s this latter Reagan they’re referring to.

  7. 7
    Dennis SGMM says:

    There is no room for Reagan or Buckley anymore.

    Hell, Richard M. Nixon would be tarred as a RINO and primaried by some teabagger. The GOP is no longer a political party, it’s a cult that happens to sponsor politicians.

  8. 8
    Alwhite says:

    I always wondered what it was like to be a Roman during the decline. I read a lot about England in the post WWI era and got a sense of how much they struggled with the end of their empire. I wondered at the time what it would be like IF that ever happened to us. So now it IS happening and the part that amazes me most, the part that I did not get from any reading on those others, is the absolute refusal to recognize the end in time to prevent it.

  9. 9
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I think every Democrat in the House should change their party affiliation to Republican for 2011. I listen to a number of my coworkers talk, and they are socially liberal and want to keep spending under control, but they’re still stuck on this idea that the Republicans are the ones that will spend their money wisely. So I figure the only way to fix that is to muddy the name issue for a while.

  10. 10
    Violet says:

    Reagan would be considered a commie pinko soshulist these days.

    It’s pretty funny when a wingnut talk show guy is asked about a specific Reagan policy or decision, like immigration. They’re forced to say things like, “Reagan was teh greatest evah, but I really disagreed with this one decision…” Different “one decision” every time.

  11. 11
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: 50 First Elections?

  12. 12
    Alwhite says:


    Ah but Reagan raised taxes on the middle-class and poor while cutting them for the wealthy. He would feel right at home. The huge increase in payroll tax was not used to extend the life of Social Security, it was used to hide the actual cost of cutting the taxes for millionaires.

  13. 13

    pro-tip: do not mention male anatomy in the edit box of your comment, or it will be sent to moderation. FYWP.

  14. 14
    MattF says:

    I realize that this is pathetic, but I’d still like to see a ‘reasonable’ conservative, somehow, somewhere, in some guise. But it’s tough– an old friend/colleague of mine is a smart guy and a conservative, and he supported Guiliani in the last election cycle. It’s just ridikuluxxxx.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    BR says:


    Have you read Dmitry Orlov? He has a number of fascinating talks / posts on what he saw as the USSR fell and how the US in his view is retracing its steps.

    This is one of his classics:

    Here’s one of his talks:

    He has a blog cluborlov that’s worth checking out too. The dark humor is well worth it.

  17. 17
    BR says:


    Well, then that part of Reagan too. I guess that fits in nicely with the supply-side nonsense.

  18. 18
    Culture of Truth says:

    Giuliani is an interesting example because he used to be left of center, but he’s become an uninteresting hate-filled crazy person. I expect he’ll find a way to say START is just another way to offer terrorists therapy and fluffy pillows.

  19. 19
    Dave says:


    If you read the history books, the Romans didn’t handle it well either. As everything collapsed around them the elite still thought being “Roman” would trump everything else. They were assassinating Emperors right to the end. The last competent one, Majorian, was trying to reform tax law and retake agricultural land for Rome and was assassinated in part because those reforms affected Senators. So the Senators had him killed.

  20. 20
    danimal says:

    My new golden rule of journalism: If the establishment journos experience something, it’s very, very important. If they don’t, shut up, that’s why.

    You would think the biggest issue of the year is body scanners at airports based on the hours of mind-numbing (un)coverage. The reason why: journalists travel a lot and many are afraid their implants will be ogled. 80% of real Murkans don’t give a crap.

    Broder and his ilk have sleepwalked through all the criticism thinking that Dem charges about the GOP are a he said/she said phenomenon. When he wakes up, he’ll be mighty pissed. Of course, that will take the imposition of martial law and the internment of all liberals, but still, he’ll figure it out eventually and realize he’s been a dupe for radicals.

  21. 21
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Dave: How do you convince a group of people that what they are doing is hurting more than helping? A lot of people believe that saving this country involves:

    1. Getting back to God and following His rules.
    2. Lowering taxes on everyone.
    3. Establishing our might.

    Conservatism cannot fail. If it’s not working, we just don’t believe in the Great Pumpkin enough.

  22. 22
    Keith G says:

    I am trying to process last night’s train wreck of an argument (via email) with my brother, a conservative physician.

    In his words:

    Obama has only himself to blame. Early on when asked if he would reach across the aisle he responded “we won.” No Republicans allowed behind closed doors for health policy debates etc,etc. Whether he ever gets help from across the aisle (whether he actually should or not), it won’t be because he has tried to build consensus or has earned it politically. Rahm Emanuel has never thought that reaching out to the other side was necessary or good. When your only job prior to being president was that as a public organizer (plus brief senatorial experience) I would not expect him to have many skills. He certainly hasn’t impressed many world leaders, and persuaded none, on his high spending economic policy.

    In my response, I rebutted his realistic assertions and mocked the rest. I also pointed out that Obama had inspired a seeming army of enemies who had no trouble using racist claims to undermine his presidency. In my close, I added

    I can only marvel at the well known and well fertilized cult of victim-hood that has been the stock and trade of the party of white people (GOP) for decades.

    My brother is now certain that I called him a racist, Fun times.

    Republicans aren’t playing nice and the ripples of unhingedness are flowing everywhere.

  23. 23
    p.a. says:

    WARNING: TRUISM ALERT!: The mass of movement conservatives are obviously evidence-proof; ‘epistemic closure’ for the base is in the form of ‘any fact that contradicts my preexisting world view is the result of a liberal conspiracy’, no matter the source. (US gvt. statistics contra conservative orthodoxy is the US gvt. lying to itself).*end truism alert*

    But for the hand-wringing conservative elite ‘camp followers’, you should probably just follow the money. Once (if) the Republican Party/conservative money funnel cuts them off from whatever wingnut welfare they currently receive, they may decamp. This excludes the fetus-fetishists who are (ahem) umbilically attached to the Republican party no matter what.

  24. 24
    eemom says:

    It ain’t your father’s David Broder either. Rumor has it he wasn’t always a doddering 107 year old fool who couldn’t tell his ass from the Washington monument. But who knows.

  25. 25
    Dave says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Good question. The only answer I have come up with is…outlast them.

    Demographics are in our favor. So we have to fight a war of attrition until that shift firmly takes hold.

    That answer sucks. But I really don’t think you can negotiate with or reason with a party who thinks Sarah Palin is a viable Presidential candidate, believes global climate change is a myth and that cutting taxes will eliminate the deficit. So you have to wait for these fools to die off.

  26. 26
    geg6 says:

    Salon is running, over the next three days, a series about the 30 biggest hacks in the media. I must say that, so far, the list looks like it will hold all the worst offenders (though I’d put Bobo higher on the list than they do). Here’s what they have so far:

    I am hopeful that Broder will be in the top 5.

  27. 27
    Keith G says:

    @eemom: Last year during a two week arc, I saw Broder on a couple of “talking head” shows. He wasn’t doing well and it was cringe worthy.

    On Washington Week, the other participants had to help with verbal cues to keep him “in the moment”. The camera cuts weren’t always quick enough to hide the looks.

    After that, I noticed that he was gone from TV for a bit.

  28. 28
    Cain says:

    @Keith G:

    My brother is now certain that I called him a racist, Fun times.

    I’m usually very uncomfortable using this kind of argument as for a lot of people it seems to indicate a way to shut the other side up. Is your brother in fact a racist?

    I rather argue from the right using conservative framing of small government to win my arguments. It’s hard for them to argue against it without running into a paradox in my opinion.

    Ask your brother proof where Obama is quoted saying just that. We all faulted him trying to be bi-partisan from the beginning. There is no amount of bi-partisan that would have pleased them. They essentially wanted to rule by proxy.


  29. 29
    Scott says:

    @BR: Oh god, so depressed now.

    I’ll be dead in a ditch the first week, tops. I’ve got zero survival skills. :(

  30. 30
    shortstop says:

    @Cain: Obama did say just that–“we won.” You’re damned straight he said it. Here’s when: toward the very end of the healthcare debate, after months of giving the GOP concession after concession, to which they inevitably responded by braying that if he didn’t give them 100 percent of what they wanted, he was not bipartisan. He said it in the context of reminding everyone of these facts–yes, I will work with you; yes, I have made many, many compromises; but if you think you should get everything you want and I should get nothing I want, remember, I won.

    And so the story on the right, which has been taken up with enthusiasm by people like Keith’s brother who were smart enough to get through med school, is that the narcissistic, arrogant, tyrannical Obama refuses to compromise. God, it’s too early in the week to feel this hopeless.

  31. 31
    xian says:

    Obama said “we won” at the White House when having republican congressional leaders over to discuss policy. It wasn’t his only comment or his response to bipartisan overtures from the R’s. It was a laugh line about how when push came to shove on stuff they did not agree on, he had a mandate, having just won an election running on just those issues.

  32. 32
    xian says:

    slipped by shortstop, who said it better

  33. 33
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G:

    My brother is now certain that I called him a racist, Fun times.

    Same thing played out with me and a winger friend of mine last week.
    Unlike your situation, I can live with not talking to him ever again if that’s how it plays out.

  34. 34
    Joshua Norton says:

    We already have enough Republicans in the Democratic Party, thank you very much.

  35. 35
    cursorial says:

    I had to start the day reading a Broder column? Really? Just the now-standard phrasing “Obama extending the Bush tax cuts” sets my teeth on edge. The tax hike is a Bush tax hike. A Republican congress passed it, he signed it – this legislative landmine, this tax time bomb, this act of vandalism. (The estate tax gets reduced, goes to zero for a year, then reverts? Did anyone read this bill? Of course not. Tax cuts! Yay!)

    I know, preaching to the choir. Between Democratic messaging fail and the fact this country has the attention span of a mayfly, I find it hard to maintain optimism past that first cup of coffee.

  36. 36
    WarMunchkin says:

    Forget Reagan or Buckley, Nixon’s a commie and Eisenhower is a Nazi according to today’s GOP.

  37. 37
    Alwhite says:


    True but the sense of chaos seems so much greater in those times than it appears now. Maybe its that historians were writing after the outcome was known. Did the great unwashed go down as quietly then?

  38. 38
    Keith G says:

    @Corner Stone: @shortstop:

    Its sad but it’s also funny. Brother is demo-ing that same cult of victim-hood that I told him the GOP was possessed by.

    FWIW, here is the story about the “I won” event.

  39. 39
    numbskull says:

    @Keith G: I’m seeing this bullshit all over the toobs today, that somehow Republicans were shut out of this and other policy discussions and formulations.

    AFAIK, Republicans were allowed in to EVERY discussion on ALL policy, not just healthcare insurance reform.

    Can your brother provide real data demonstrating that Republicans were routinely prevented from attending meetings? From putting forth modifications? As a doc, surely he knows that the entire bill was one big compromise with Republicans. So in addition to being an erzats racist (by his assumption), is he also a liar? Or is he basing his statement on what his friends at Fox tell him? If so, does that mean he’s simply run-of-the-mill stupid?

  40. 40

    @Dave: Which, since they can’t afford decent health care, should be any day now.

  41. 41
    Davis X. Machina says:


    You can’t refute a theology. In the Middle Ages, they used a stake, some brushwood, and a medieval box of medieval kitchen matches, and even then that didn’t always work….

  42. 42
    Davis X. Machina says:


  43. 43

    Krugman’s column today was excellent. I haven’t scrolled down all the threads yet today so forgive me if someone here already linked to it, but if not: it’s a must read.

    The parts I liked best were this:

    The fact is that one of our two great political parties has made it clear that it has no interest in making America governable, unless it’s doing the governing. … Elite opinion has been slow to recognize this reality.

    And this:

    My sense is that most Americans still don’t understand this reality. They still imagine that when push comes to shove, our politicians will come together to do what’s necessary. But that was another country.

    I mean jeeeeebus. I just hope people in the Administration are paying attention to this.

  44. 44
    Steeplejack says:


    Dead in a ditch?! Sheer luxury. I’d be flattened by some Road Warrior hot rod in the first two days.

    [Cue the four Yorkshiremen.]

  45. 45
    ruemara says:

    Yeah, but don’t forget, it’s all Obama’s fault.

  46. 46
    TuiMel says:


    Thank you for this. It is true and representative of the Greed Old Party’s selective memory and champion cherry-picking skills.

  47. 47
    reid says:

    @Alwhite: We can’t even blame this one on rampant, uncontrolled syphilis.

  48. 48
    Ash Can says:

    @Southern Beale: Administration, hell. I want the American public to start paying attention to it. You know, all those low-info independent voters who were saying a few weeks ago that since the economy hadn’t picked up yet, they’d give the other guys a shot, oblivious to the fact that it was the other guys who’d made the mess in the first place.

    And just the president saying it isn’t going to get that done. And just the Congressional Democrats saying it isn’t going to get it done. And the national press isn’t going to say it, period. It takes the local press, the gals in the grocery store and the beauty shop, the guys at the garage and on construction sites, people in neighborhoods. A quick perusal of these threads here show how many people blame Obama for not using the bully pulpit, blah blah blah. How’s about the DNC hire a new, more effective PR firm? Or how’s about the various labor unions step up and mount a true grassroots campaign about just how dangerous for the middle class and the country in general the Republicans have become?

    People tune politicians out. They do listen, on the other hand, to people who are like them — similar situations, similar experiences, similar location. It takes more than one person to start a meme, and it takes way more than one to keep it going.

  49. 49
    reid says:

    @Culture of Truth: Guiliani seems to have gone insane over a combination of power and ambition. The poor guy sold his soul to get his rightful turn at the presidency and got nothing for it. But then again, I didn’t know that much about him roughly pre-2006, so maybe he’s always had latent douchey tendencies.

  50. 50
    ThresherK says:

    @BR: Don’t forget the (right type of) poor people.

    Reagan, who grew up on the dole, felt the need to at least pay lipservice to “hard working working class” folk, who weren’t rich. You don’t need the dog-whistle conversion kit to figure out what that means, but he at least had to mouth the words inclusive of those below the median income.

    Nowadays the peasant mentality has been beaten into the Joes The Plumber to the extent that they are willing peasants. We can actually look backwards fondly at Reagan’s inclusive rhetoric. However little he may have meant it, it set a tone for accepted Beltway Inbred discourse.

  51. 51
    shortstop says:

    @Southern Beale:

    But that was another country.

    And besides, shame is dead.

  52. 52
    Paris says:

    All this signals that they are feeling their oats and will be hard to deal with.

    If this is the language you use to describe middle aged rich white men then your political process has failed. That failure is good for someone so I guess they got their money’s worth.

  53. 53
    aimai says:

    @Southern Beale:

    You missed an entire thread about this in which Cornerstone, JRB and a host of others were, as usual, excoriated by General Stuck for being “manic progressives” and denying that the entire of the last two years has been a secret master plan of 11th dimensional chess to corner the republicans by showing that they refuse to be bipartisan.

    Of course Keith’s experience with his doctor brother shows that given the current state of rage/epistemic closure/right wing craziness all failures of bipartisanship are assigned to Obama’s brutal marxist narcissism. Any master plan to let the Republicans, say, shut down the government and prevent the START treaty which is predicated on Obama being able to say something more in anger than in sorrow is, thus, useless. This is basically what Krugman et al are saying: that given the level of destructive potential, disengagement from reality, etc… on the right any plan of Obama and the Dems that doesn’t match that firepower equally is doomed to fail in either attracting right wing voters or right wing votes.

    This says nothing, of course, about whether Obama can win in 2012. I believe he can and will and should. But if he and the dems can’t overcome a deficit of trust and admiration with red state voters and we lose the house again, or the house and senate, the country itself will go down in flames.


  54. 54
    Don says:

    I often wonder what exactly it will take for some of the “reasonable” conservatives left in the blogosphere to finally sever their ties with the radicals now running the GOP.

    Traumatic brain injury. Even Frum, still bleeding lightly from being purged this very year, wrote “Why I will vote Republican on Tuesday” about the 2010 elections. He rationalized it with nonsense – attacking over-reaching health care on one hand, then condemning the lack of financial system reform on the other.

    The 23 percenters will never embrace any alternative, ever.

  55. 55
    TruthOrScare says:

    With regard to comments above about “what to do” I would encourage everyone to talk, talk, talk to neighbors, co-workers, friends and family about what is going on. We don’t need to be screamers but you can bet the teabaggers are not going to stop talking. For example: A recent poll showed that more than 50% of the population do not know the GOP now controls the House, which controls the budget. Talk, talk, talk to everyone you know about Republican responsibility for the budget come 2011.

    Also, start giving money now and as much as you can until 2012. Corporate money will be hugely on the GOP’s side going forward — they were just getting their feet wet in 2010. If you can afford $10, $20, $50 a month, every month, from now until 2012, give it to the DNC or your group of choice. For many people it’s probably easier to routinely give a small amount than to try to scrape together hundreds of dollars two years from now.

  56. 56
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Keith G:

    My brother is now certain that I called him a racist, Fun times.

    At some point, people who continuously vote to elect officials who impose draconian policies that affect only people of color in a substantial way, need to be acknowledged as such in public. No matter how ruffled their precious feelings get at the fact that someone is correctly pointing out that they routinely cast their vote for a political party whose primary strategy the past 40 years has been almost entirely based on fanning the flames of white victimhood and disenfranchising minorities.

  57. 57
    mds says:


    We can’t even blame this one on rampant, uncontrolled syphilis.

    Given that most Tea Partiers have repeatedly demonstrated that they’re fundamentalist Christians, I suspect that we can.

  58. 58
    General Stuck says:


    You should have said something in that other thread aimai, and we could have chatted about it, instead of sneaking a shot onto a thread I wasn’t on. I am beginning to wonder if you even like me. Always so busy busy busy, and never time to chat. What’s up with that?

  59. 59
    General Stuck says:

    This is basically what Krugman et al are saying: that given the level of destructive potential, disengagement from reality, etc… on the right any plan of Obama and the Dems that doesn’t match that firepower equally

    Ah ha, the Modo Manup meme again. The worst of the RW frames from the left. I don’t think Krugman was saying this, nor Benen. And taking serious someone clamoring for “firepower” that will not even fight from the safety of a blog, doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in this big crazy messed up world. Lawsy sakes alive, as my dead granny used to say.

  60. 60
    PIGL says:

    @danimal: Broder et al. are not dupes. They are accomplices.

  61. 61
    Jrod the Cookie Thief says:

    @General Stuck: Cuz we all know how willing you are to have a reasonable discussion when you’re on a tear about the perfeshnulleft.


  62. 62
    General Stuck says:

    @Jrod the Cookie Thief:

    I like Jane Hamsher. I think she’s crazy, but I like her. You have me confused with someone else jrod. Not surprising.

  63. 63
    Susan Ross says:

    Oh, stop deluding yourself. You just don’t get it, John. This is the GOP Ronald Reagan would have given Ted Kennedy a tongue bath for-stupid, vicious, bigoted, and ruthless, just like he was. He’s looking up from hell right now and nodding approvingly, saying to Bachmann and Palin and Armey, well done, chaps!

  64. 64
    The Raven says:

    I often wonder what exactly it will take for some of the “reasonable” conservatives left in the blogosphere to finally sever their ties with the radicals now running the GOP.

    A credible, acceptable alternative. It is very hard for hominids, especially privileged male hominids, to admit that they don’t know, they don’t know what to do, and their side cheated and made fools of them. To get most of them to move there needs to a credible alternative that they can accept without too much shame, at least initially.

    I find it fascinating that we are now having multiple serious discussions of cheating.


Comments are closed.